On Wednesday, Texas led a coalition of 17 states suing the Obama administration, on the claim that it acted illegally last month when initiating an executive order that would grant amnesty to up to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants.
USA Today reported that Texas is being joined by Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
According to the New York Times, although Republicans in the House of Representatives are preparing to vote on a bill on Thursday that would “dismantle the president’s programs,” the lawsuit from the states is the “first major legal challenge” to Obama’s executive order.
Reuters reported that the case was “filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas,” stating that Obama’s executive order should be declared illegal, due to the fact that it “violated constitutional limits on presidential powers.”
The coalition is being led by Greg Abbott, the Attorney General and Governor-elect of Texas. Abbott stated that Texas was “uniquely qualified to challenge the president’s executive order,” due to the fact that the state has received he majority of the impact from illegal immigration.
“The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do,” Abbott said.
According to USA Today, Obama claimed that he was “forced to act because Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration bill,” and he defended his actions, saying that although his immigration steps are “incomplete,” they are “good for the economy.”
The Huffington Post reported that the lawsuit “could make things awkward come Friday, when Abbott travels to Washington to meet with Obama as part of a group of newly elected governors.”
The Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, said his state is involved in the lawsuit, because they believe the President “has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution.”
Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia Attorney General, released a similar statement, saying that the lawsuit was a way for the states to stand up to the Obama administration.
“We joined this lawsuit to stand up once again with other state attorneys general and governors against an out-of-control executive branch,” Morrisey said.